VISAKHAPATNAM, India – West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson said his side needed to execute better if they are to turnaround their recent form in One-day Internationals.
Gibson was speaking on the eve of the second ODI between the Windies and hosts India on Sunday at the Reddy Stadium in this south-eastern coastal city.
The Caribbean side trail 0-1 in the three-match series, following a six-wicket defeat in the first ODI on Thursday at the Nehru Stadium in the south-western city of Kochi.
A half-century from left-hander Darren Bravo propped up the West Indies batting, as they were dismissed for 211 in 48.5 overs, after they chose to bat, before the Indians comfortably chased the target to win with 88 balls remaining.
“It’s frustrating because we sit as a team and we have targets about where we want to be at 10 overs, 20 overs, 30 overs, 40 overs, not only in terms of runs, but also wickets lost,” said Gibson. “At every stage, we are way ahead of our targets or on-par with where we want to be and we have lost one or two wickets too many.
“In the last 10 overs, it’s then left to the bowlers to negotiate and this has been something that has been happening for the last few series we have played and it makes it tough on the team.”
He added: “Judging from the series that India recently played at home against Australia, we know that 211 is not really going to be a competitive total. We had a platform to put 280 on the board. We do not know if that would have been enough, but at least it would have been a decent total, that didn’t happen.
“When we bowled, we were able to create some pressure, but we could not sustain for a long enough period and the total we had was not enough. It’s frustrating because the guys are working hard and we have what I consider to be solid plans, but we are not executing those plans well enough.”
The threat of rain interrupting the second ODI has receded, but the wet weather stemming from the passage of Cyclone Helen dumped enough water on the match venue to force both teams to cancel their planned training sessions on Saturday.
On this setback, Gibson said: “It’s same for both sides. Neither of us could get out and get the practice we need. Obviously, it may look like we need the practice more than they do, but sometimes in situation like this, it gives us an opportunity to sit and have more meaningful discussions about our execution.
“I have been going around having one-on-one discussions with certain players about certain situations in which they find themselves during matches and discuss how perhaps they can do things better when they find themselves in those situations.
“We have to keep believing in ourselves and our ability. At times, it seems we don’t back ourselves often enough, or on the flipside, we back ourselves too much, and we don’t assess the situations and we need to be more aware of things – and try to capitalise on good starts.”
Though keen observers believe the shorter formats of the game favour West Indies because of the flambuoyant batting available to them, the visitors have won just seven of their 21 ODIs this year which have also included two tied contests.
On team’s record in ODIs this year, Gibson said: “It’s hard to pin-point the reason, but we have not batted 50 overs consistently, and I have been stressing this to the players. We have 300 balls available to us and that’s a lot of balls – and the top four to six batsmen have to take responsibility for the bulk of those balls. We have done it previously, but it’s something we haven’t done against the stronger sides.
“It’s something we are looking to improve, as we continuously look to see how we can improve as a side and our decision-making under pressure. We simulate putting the players under pressure when we practice, but it really matters when you get into the middle of a game.
“During the Pakistan series at home earlier this year, we did not have big totals to defend and the bowlers fought in our conditions, but the conditions in India are very different and we either have to put bigger totals on the board if we bat first, or restrict them to a total which we know is manageable for our batting.”